Monday 26 April 2010

School Books I Have Known (CsH)

"A Village in Malaya" by Marion Saynor is about Kim Tong's family who live in a resettled village sometime during the early 1950s.

It was 8 years after the Second World War. The young Elizabeth had just been crowned Queen of her homeland and of the Empire. The Communist Insurgency was at its height. I still remember those times when we were travelling by car to visit relatives in Kuala Lumpur. We could not bring too much food with us and we were constantly stopped at Police checkpoints. I also recall seeing soldiers (Malay and British) patrolling the hills and roadside in Johore.

And this is how they described and categorised us!!! "How these Chinese work!" The 'real people of Malaya' are the Malays who "always enjoy life in the warm sun, the slow movement of their boats on the river and the idle chatter with their friends are part of their unhurried way of living".

It's clear to them the Malays have the life of Larry and so if they are not as rich as the Chinese they only have themselves to blame. This reminds me of the bumiputra British bleating about the unfair competition from the immigrant Indians who keep their shops open for longer hours, for 7 days of the week, thus knocking them out of business.

But the Malays do have one talent as Kim Tong (according to the missionaries) discovered. Thank goodness for that!

But look who's here? It's a white missionary nurse with her Chinese helper. The above text says it all. The clinic provided medical care for the body as well as salvation for the soul in the form of the Bible and Bible stories. It's a BOGOF like they say in Leicester. Buy One Get One Free!

During the 1950s, after the Communist Revolution of 1949, the missionaries were kicked out of China. To fulfil their mission they recamped in Singapore and Malaya - with the blessings of the British Colonial Government - to 'assist' in building up medical facilities and education in their SE Asian colonies.

Wong and Hong in 1971 wrote , "Religion was the motivational spirit behind the various Christian missionary bodies in their endeavours to open and maintain schools in Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah".

Although their contacts were mainly with Chinese Buddhists and Indian Hindus they did manage to sneak into Malay space. Is it Mrs Romlee or Mrs Rom Lee (not likely, I think). Or is it Mrs Ramlee (a Malay name) - but with a son named Baby Chu? Very, very perplexing.

Anyway in Marion Saynor's book this is what a Chinese lady, Mrs Ming looked like.

And here is our Mrs Romlee.

It's amazing how such a simple and simplistic book can elucidate the workings and tactics of the soul-snatchers then.

Today it has become more corporatised and hi-tech. The Malaysia for Jesus website has this to announce. They now have an "evangelistic playlist ..... distributed to over 2,000 Muslim Malay students. About fifty additional young people receive it daily. There are gospel recordings and powerful testimonies from converted Muslims. Portions of the Malay Bible are available".

My niece at Universiti Malaya was duped into one of these gatherings.

First the books, then the web, what next?

Saturday 24 April 2010

In the Beginning ............. (CsH)

Thank you Sejfruddin for this video - " a sarcastic song about being a Bosnian Muslim in Europe surrounded by Christian neighbours".

It was not too long ago - in January 2000 on the Newsnight programme with Jeremy Paxman - when the then Archbishop of York, John Hapgood (now Lord Hapgood) claimed that Islam is "dogmatic." The Koran is "authoritative" while Christianity is "flexible", Islam attracts "a certain type of personality and Muslims are happiest in an Islamic state where religion and secular law coincide". In other words please keep away from our white Christian countries.

Then in September 2007 in his Regensburg Speech, Pope Benedict quoted a criticism of Islam linking Islam and violence.

The well-known British novelist Martin Amis, after the London 7/7 bombing, declared, "The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order" and suggested that deportations and strip searches might one day be in order for people of Middle Eastern religion.

These are quite recent statements made by prominent Christian leaders and an acclaimed novelist to boot! You would expect such ignorance and bigotry from the racist British National Party or the yobs from the ghettos of Britain's housing estates.

But such prejudice from the West has a long pedigree. It can be found even before the Christian Era, from the time of the Greeks.

"Once upon a time Hermes was driving all over the world in a cart stuffed with falsehoods, wickedness, and deceit, distributing a little of his load in each country. But when he came to the land of the Arabs, it is said, the cart suddenly broke into pieces, and the inhabitants plundered its contents as if they were valuable merchandise, so that there was nothing left for Hermes to carry elsewhere".

The Moral of the Story : The Arabs are the greatest liars and deceivers on earth. Their tongues know not the truth.

This story comes from the Fables of Aesop, Penguin Classics, 1971, No. 152.

So you can see the Arabs have had a bad press even before or maybe during the same time as the Jews. I wonder, what if ..... the Prophet had been a Serb????

More surprising, check this.Note how at Item 986 the Koran is categorised as pseudo-revelation and 'Mahomet' amongst others is a false prophet. However at 985, only Christian texts are acknowledged as 'true' revelations.

Here, for 'Orthodoxy' or true faith etc. read everything Christian.

For 'Heterodoxy' (item 984) which refers to false and wrong beliefs, Mohammedan, Mussulman, Moslem, Islamite are thrown into the same cauldron with the other non-Christian pariah beliefs.

All these extracts are not taken from an ancient Dictionary of Christianity. I discovered this in my Penguin Roget's Thesaurus, 1953 Edition, reprinted 1964! I am sure Hapgood, Amis, Salman Rushdie, Naipaul, Blair and Bush(?), Wolfowitz, Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, Wole Solyinka, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh Primate of Nigeria and countless other eminent Islamophobes must have consulted this secular Bible. As for the Pope, he does not need a Thesaurus. He has his army of librarians and consultants.

Of course all the above versions have been 'adjusted' so to speak when I looked at the Penguin Roget's 1982 and Longman's 1984 Editions. I wondered if the Editors had gone through a Damascene experience.

But the deed is done and the die is cast as we witness today's battlefields and carnage.

Thursday 22 April 2010

The Lovers, Dreamers and Ben

A Reply to Singaporean-in-Exile aka Nowhere Man aka Baba Ben

Of course you are never forgotten by your mates from 30 years ago.

Firstly you need to sort out the hole in your head, "to stop your mind from wandering".
"Where I belong I'm right where I belong".

So wander on when you can to visit your Rainbow Connection or the JSS Lovers and Dreamers. But don't wait till you're 64 as you threatened to do. By that time I will be pushing up daisies and as 'bibik' said, "you dah tak handsome lagi" like this. Also Oi Bek expects you to keep on crooning.

Furthermore, remember this is one of AsH's many talents.

Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Just Like Yesterday

Please click on the arrow on this home-made video.
After a somewhat long hiatus we caught up with Irene again, with the help of Oi Bek and Lely.
Like the rest of that uniquely cheeky and harmonious bunch of students from Jurong Secondary School Sec. 4F 1977, Irene
means a lot to me. We all go back a long, long way and though our lives have been filled with joy and pain we try to maintain that quintessential core of our friendship - love and loyalty.

It had been a weekend of eating,
walking in the park,
and meeting new friends like Comot.
Best of all, Irene met up once again with someone she had not seen for 33 years.

Thank you girls and Din. It was just like yesterday.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Whimping and Poring

The English, with their barmy sense of humour described the invasion by the Vikings in the year 800 as a series of laping and rooting (raping and looting).
The title of this posting is a take on the circus of April 23rd which, in other words refers to "Pimping and Whoreing". with Blair as the Ringmaster.

This much-advertised event is organised by the National Achievers Congress (NAC) under the auspices of Success Resources International (SRI). SRI is Asia's largest Seminar Company with its headquarters in Singapore. The CEO is Richard Tan. In 2003 the Singapore Government acknowledged Mr Tan's entrepreneurial savvy by awarding him the prestigious Phoenix Award - given to only one successful entrepreneur from Singapore each year.

The National Achievers Congress (NAC) started in 1992, a clone of SRI. It is "an assembly of world-class experts to help ordinary persons achieve outstanding results in a highly competitive global market. NAC started with a need to assemble world-class experts and professionals in one location to learn, discuss and advance breakthroughs in business competencies to vast audiences at a very affordable price".

In other words, a Congress for leading wealth consultants and serial entrepreneurs to share, at a price, their tricks of the trade and the rituals for worshipping Mammon. It's easy to see where Blair fits in.

Just as a matter of interest, here are the lists of Sponsors of the Event
in both Malaysia and Singapore - the proverbial Three Monkeys who see, speak and hear no Evil.

The Press Release by the NAC and SRI described MahaGuru Blair as a 'respected and admired world leader', and 'one of the best speakers in business today, offering in-depth analysis and approach to the opportunities that lie ahead'. How true. Blair is the Sifu of Opportunism!

However, there is a deafening silence, a self-imposed censorship on Blair's record as a war-monger at best and a War Criminal at worst. His and Bush's culpability in the Iraq War that killed and maimed innocent civilians and turned Iraq into rubble needs no further embellishment. They are there on record - except for the NAC and SRI.

NOT ONE WORD ON IRAQ. Not even a hint or a sniff.

It is like writing a Curriculum Vitae on Hitler without mentioning the killing of the Jews, the Gypsies,the homosexuals, and the mentally ill.

This is what I would like to communicate to Blair.

(Poster drawn by the Spouse)

Monday 12 April 2010

I Vow to Thee My Country - Rajinder Singh and Deva Kumarasiri

About a year ago Deva Kumarasiri, an immigrant postmaster of Sri Lankan origin at Carlton, Nottingham, hit the news when he refused to serve Asian customers who can't speak English. He had been in Britain for 18 years and he was quoted as saying "When I left Sri Lanka I left the culture, customs and language and have done my utmost to be part of this country's culture......He peppers his conversation with the local terms 'duck' and 'dear' .....flies the Union Jack in his garden and on his Land Rover. His wife is a nurse and his daughters....want to join the RAF". How fortunate Britain is to have him as an immigrant. Some countries in SE Asia are not that lucky.

I just wondered if he dared to give the same (mis)treatment to the immigrants from Eastern Europe who can barely speak English?

In November 2009 it was reported that an ex-teacher, a Mr Rajinder Singh will be able to sign up as a true blue member of the racist, right-wing British National Party (BNP). What links this Mr Singh with these white extremists? They both hate Muslims and Islam.

For more details Check Out this

Some years ago in Leicester, the spouse was sitting in the bus and saw in passing a poster at an Indian Sweetshop which read "Islam rapes your mothers". Based on that claim there must be untold numbers of uncircumcised males scattered all over the globe whose Muslim fathers raped their non-Muslim mothers. Generally females are unwanted and discarded.

So, what aspects of British cuture do you have to cultivate to be regarded as British?

Check this this It's quite laughable.

I say, that's spiffing. Jolly hockey sticks!

Based on that rebuttal by Mark Pack, a stalwart of the Liberal Democratic Party (one of Britain's major political parties) I could be British too except I hate Easter chocolates. I'm not a member of the Church of England. I find cricket boring and football and rugby are too full of sweaty men in shorts running after a ball. My father was a 'loyal' worker in the British Army and he too was given his 'thank you' certificates. I quite like the Ealing comedies and I never get tired of watching re-runs of Monty Python, Blackadder and Fools and Horses.

However people like Mr Rajinder Singh and the BNP adherents will not have the likes of me even if I have English fish and chips coming out of my ears. Even the nasty Daleks (of the Dr Who series) want to exterminate me.
But hang on! I have no wish to be British. I'm just happy to be a Malaysian spouse of a British national.

However, such are the desires of Muslims to be accepted and acceptable in Britain.

Maybe Muslims in Britain should take up Morris Dancing and learn to exclaim "b......r off" at the appropriate moments.

Friday 9 April 2010


This has been an awful week. The body clock and Malaysian time could not synchronise. To make matters worse, Shah Jahan, our favourite tosai and teh tarik restaurant is shut, undergoing renovation and under new management. Tonight however, I heard a rumour that had been going round about our favourite eating joint. This restaurant stands accused of spicing up their curry with, wait for this, ....... a pair of underpants !!!!! Holy mackerel! Don't want to know whose underpants it is. At least I know my spouse has not lost any of his 'undies', so we are in the clear. No wonder I was feeling underpar when I was here last.

Anyway, I must get back to more cerebral matters. I have this series of Malay Language Workbooks from Book One to Book Five. They were written by Che' Gu A.R.B. Etherton and Che' Gu C. Campbell and illustrated by Leong Pak Hong. I like the way Mr Etherton and Mr Campbell were quite happy with the native title of Che' Gu now that Malay had become the National Language. This workbook was published by Donald Moore and Eastern Universities Press Ltd, Singapura 1961. and they were canny enough to realise that when in Rome ..... Also on the front cover is written 'Untok Sekolah2 Di-Tanah Melayu' ( for schools in the Land of the Malays ). And yet today the term 'Tanah Melayu' is taboo, almost a dirty word.

And here are several examples from these books to stretch the grey matter.

For those having an identity crisis, this will be a challenge.

Nitpickers and fussbudgets will enjoy this one.

Neurotics who are worried sick about inflation should keep away from this task.

This is for those who want to be artists when they grow up.

And this is just for showing off some of my hoard of treasures. Eat your hearts out - KT and AG.

The first five correct and imaginative answers to the above exercises will be given a free tosai and teh tarik breakfast at Restaurant Shah Jahan sans underpants. What I mean is sans underpants in the curry.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Lagging Behind

Two days ago, on our way to the Departure Channel at Heathrow Airport, a big glass Charity Bowl caught our eye. This time it was in aid of 'Help for Heroes'. Instinctively I reached for my camera but the spouse cautioned me and said, "Don't ask for trouble."

Today I checked on the internet . 'Help for Heroes' is a UK Charity founded in 2007 by Bryn Parry a former member of the Royal Green Jackets to raise "money to support members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in the service of their country". It has a high number of high profile trustees and patrons and has the support of the Army Benevolent Fund and the Ministry of Defence. By February 2010 the Charity had raised 40 million pounds.

It sounds such a solid cause and is not short of volunteers willing to donate and run charity drives, auctions, sales of films and cds and various other activitiies to boost the Fund.

One example of this generosity is the sale of the CD 'Harp for Heroes'.

The information on the website says "To the brave men and women fighting for freedom all around the world. A heartfelt 'THANK YOU' to each and every one of you for your courage, dedication and strength. You have placed your lives on the line to keep not just Britain safe, but to give other countries the right to the same freedom ".

However heart-wrenching that blurb sounds, I find it quite impossible to accept the maiming and slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan as a gift of freedom from an invader country like UK. It's like trying to square a circle and quite contemptuous of the Iraqis and Afghanis. Remember that old saying? One man's meat is another man's poison.

If I am English and have had members of my family wounded or killed in this War in the Middle East, I would find it upsetting to see this 'Help for Heroes" charity bowl almost half-filled with spare coins and change from travellers on their journey overseas via Heathrow. It's like the beggars at Leicester City Centre's underpass who plead for "Any spare change, mate?"

On Saturday afternoon we were on transit to KL at Changi Airport's Terminal 2. It's a very impressive terminal, like most modern airports. I found myself with time to kill. So I decided to take a walk and snap a couple of photographs ( after I was thwarted at Heathrow).

It was great fun because I came across two unusual uses of familiar words.
Firstly, I learned as seen from these two images
that this air Terminal is a 'Pier'. However, for any red-blooded kampung boy a toilet at a pier has a very different cache!

I know I'm being a cranky schoolmarm but I hate the tampering of words just for the sake of sounding clever and cool.

The notice on this door is quite funny because it shows 'Clever-Boots' Singapore can also make boo boos.The notice reads 'Cleaner Room'. I apologise for the dreadul photographs.

I'm absolutely knackered. But it's good to return home to where

Thursday 1 April 2010

Balik Kampung (CsH) or 'Going Home'

It's jalan-jalan (walkabout) time again from Leicester to Kuala Lumpur, for two ole gits who have their bums on two chairs.
I baulk at leaving just as Spring ( wet it may be) is sprung.

This time, we could not find the time to go for picnics in the Peak District, so I have to make do with the spouse's recollection of our last excursion.

But we look forward to catching up on the latest gossip with Rusty and Socks and of course the irrepressible and sometimes cantankerous Miss Comot. ( Messy)

Perhaps our nocturnal civet
is still around enjoying it's dinner from the mango tree.

But first there's this rubbish to pack. This is just a mere fraction of the total baggage, excess and all.

Also we have to eat up what's left in the freezer like these steak and kidney pies.

Finally, Iain and I are deeply grateful to my former Jurong Secondary School student, Oi Bek who ambushed us with this gift of a return ticket from Leicester to KL by SIA. Thank you dear girl. ( And pssst, we are planning a trip to Timbuctoo via Morocco ??!!??)

See you all later in Kuala Lumpur on 3 April. Ta ra !

Thank you donmad88 for this video. It was my Abah's favourite.